The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: In "One of Us", Jimmy Neutron tries this trope on his friends and parents, who have been brainwashed by an alien disguised as a kindly old grandma through the use of televised mass hypnotism, but it doesn't work:
Jimmy: Mom! Dad! You can't do this to me! Mom: Oh, we're happy to do it. Dad: Positively ecstatic! Jimmy: But you're not supposed to be happy all the time. You have to be sad sometimes! Dad: Happily that's no longer true. Jimmy: Can't you see, Grandma Tater's show has stolen your emotions and caused you to lose your humanity! Soon the whole world will be a pack of soulless, mindless zombies! Sheen: Wondering if I care... still wondering... NO!
Subverted in "Psychocrypt": by the time his team find him, Zach has already had his Life Energy ripped out and turned into a Slaverlord. Doc tries this, only to start dodging bullets. The Slaverlord-Zach also fires several direct shots at Goose, whose abilities allow him to shrug it off long enough to grab the crystal.
Played straight in an elegant way by Zozo in "Showtime". The normally prim and rational Andorians have been reduced to slavering brutes by captivity (captivity being so repulsive to them, their mind snaps). Zozo doesn't plead with the crazed Waldo — he simply asks his friend to solve a mathematical equation, which gets Waldo to stop long enough to shake off the crazy.
Rather beautifully subverted in Beast Machines. Blackarachnia has reason to believe the spark of her lover, Silverbolt, is being used to power the villain Thrust. She traps Thrust, breaks through the "shell program", demands Silverbolt come forth... and is told "Doggie-bot not home!" The spark inside Thrust is actually Waspinator. Silverbolt is inside the Jerkass.
In Ben 10: Race Against Time, Gwen does it to Ben who is turned into a young version of the villain Eon. After a while, it works.
Later in the Ben 10: Alien Force episode "Pet Project", Ship becomes brainwashed by the Forever Knights to serve as an Anterian Obliterator. In that form, he easily overpowers Ben Gwen Kevin and Julie and manages to corner them at gunpoint. But just when he was about to kill them, Julie appeals to the lingering part of their friendship to free Ship from their control.
Also in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, this is Gwen's mothod of confronting Ultimate!Kevin. She was right. He was in there somewhere... just not fighting it at the time.
Kevin: ...I was trying to get away from you! Gwen: Why? Kevin: Because I knew what I would do to you if I had the chance!
Vilgax, of all people, gives a mind-controlled Ben one in the season 2 multi-parter finale of the reboot. Being Vilgax, it obviously fails as he tries to bribe Ben into giving away the Omnitrix core in exchange for Earth's safety. Ben promptly kicks him into a portal leading to the Null Void, trapping him there. Followed by Glitch trying to do the same and failing to until Max and Gwen arrive and snap Ben out of it.
Subverted in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command when a villain uses a stolen, personality-swapping helmet on Booster. During the fight, Booster reveals that the helmet did not work on him, due to Bizarre Alien Biology: he has two brains, and his personality is stored in his "bottom brain." Booster is a comic relief character, after all.
Played straight in the episode "Wirewolf", wherein Buzz tries to talk down fellow Space Ranger Ty Parsec. Who was transformed into the title creature. Amazingly, it appears to work.
Buzz: Ty, I know you're in there somewhere! I need you to save me! Wirewolf: (the Wirewolf stops snarling and its expression changes to one of concern)
Jérémie tries this on Sissi in episode "A Great Day", during the very first human possession by XANA's specter — to absolutely no avail. In retrospect, Jérémie probably isn't the most likely person to pull off this trope with Sissi.
Jérémie: Sissi! You are being possessed by XANA! You have to resist! Sissi: Why? I never felt so well...
Despite numerous fights with William since he is possessed by XANA, this approach never comes up until the episode "The Lake"; Yumi's speech actually does bring him back for a few seconds... Until XANA takes over again. Unlike XANA-William's two previous Hyde Plays Jekyll moments, it's likely William came back for real this time, as XANA-William had Yumi at his mercy and could have devirtualized her immediately, and then wait for Aelita. Instead, William's struggling inadvertently saved the day.
Once Numbuh Five tries this on Numbuh One when he is turned into a Spanky-Happy Vampire. Sadly, it fails.
Also in "Operation: L.I.Z.Z.I.E.": After all attempts at getting through a brainwashed Numbuh One fail, it takes him receiving a Shockingly Expensive Bill to cause the Boyfriend Helmet to go haywire and explode to bring him back to normal.
Again in Operation: Z.E.R.O.: Nigel attempts this trope while he is forced to battle his own friends from Sector V who have been transformed into Grandfather's Senior-Citi-Zombies. It fails, though he manages to use the birthday suits from "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S." to partially to reverse the effect.
DC Comics Animated: In Justice League Action episode "The Goddess Must Be Crazy", Felix Faust takes over Supergirl's body and attacks Wonder Woman. Diana tries to reach Kara out but finally the Amazon lassos the Kryptonian girl and forces her to touch the ground. The anti-male spell which protects Themyscira swiftly rips Faust from Kara's body and flings him from the island.
Subverted in an episode of Superman: The Animated Series. In "Two's a Crowd", the Parasite has absorbed the personality of a particularly cunning and devious villain, and the two personalities team up... for a while. Eventually it becomes clear that the clever guy is perfectly willing to let the Parasite die, since, after all, his real body and mind are miles away, and they start battling it out inside the Parasite's head. Meanwhile, Superman, on the sidelines, shouts encouragement to the Parasite personality. It's a subversion because both personalities are bad guys; Superman is just rooting for the lesser of two evils.
And he does it again in Justice League Unlimited, this time rooting for Lex Luthor after Brainiac hijacked his body and fused with him. Too bad for Supes that Lex was all in favor of the deal, and had even been the one to suggest complete fusion to begin with.
Luthor: You're right. I am in here... and I like it!
Also from Justice League, in "For the Man Who Has Everything", Superman is trapped by the Black Mercy, dreaming of a world where he is married, has a son and Kypton still exists. As Wonder Woman fights Mogul, Batman does everything he can to snap Superman out of it. When none of his gadgets work, he frantically tugs at the Black Mercy attached to Superman, telling him to snap out of it. And in his dream world, Superman continually hears Batman's voice.
From Justice League Unlimited there's also the episode "Wake the Dead", where Solomon Grundy is resurrected by a group of amateur summoners, but the ritual is interrupted and he comes back wrong, leading to him going on a mindless destruction tour through town. Hawkgirl tries to stop the League from killing Grundy as well as stop Grundy's rampage by invoking this trope. Grundy is however beyond help, so she decides to end his suffering.
Danny Phantom in "What You Want" and "Control Freaks". In WYW, Danny tries to get through to a ghost-powered Tucker and fails. Danny winds up tricking Tucker in order to free Tucker from his evil ghost version. In CF, Sam attempts to get through to a brainwashed Danny, succeeding once, only to have Danny put under Freakshow's control again. She attempts later in the ending and only gets to Danny after getting tossed off a train over a bridge crossing in a valley. Danny comes to his senses and saves her before she falls to her doom.
Parodied in Dexter's Laboratory. He tries to fix a damaged DynoMutt (a dog robot with boatloads of hyperactivity). He comes up with a supercool and super-dangerous version that is ten times more badass than the leading brand. When it goes rogue, The Blue Falcon tries to use his friendship with DynoMutt to draw out his old personality. Dexter eventually reveals that DynoMutt was such an annoying buffoon that he decided to just start over with a new version. Blue Falcon is appalled, shocked, and stunned! But then he realises that he can now simply kill the evil robot with a clear conscience — after all, What Measure Is a Non-Human?
Dragon Booster has a rather interesting example in The Wraith Booster for two reasons. One, the speech is given by Anti-Villain Moordryd Payyn, to Artha, who is The Hero. Second, he gives it when Artha is the Dragon Booster, and Moordryd doesn't actually know who the Dragon Booster is.
Final Space: In Episode 6, the Lord Commander has brainwashed Little Cato into attacking his father, Avocato. Naturally, Avocato tries to snap him out of it while only putting up a token effort to fight back. He finally success by giving his son a Cooldown Hug.
In the Futurama movie "Bender's Big Score", Bender is subject to this while under the power of the mind-control virus, under an order to kill his best friend Fry. He is only partly successful — still, at least it shows how much he cares about Fry.
Bender: Must obey orders. Ohhhhh. Mustn't kill friend!! Ohhhhhh! Badly want to urinate!!!!! [monotone] Entering auto destruct sequence. [normal] Awww crap, I hate auto destruct sequence! [monotone] Explosion in 7, 6— [Fry duplicate kicks Bender duplicate back into a cryotube; Fry duplicate turns the dial to one million years] Bender:[much later — monotone] —4, 3, 2, 1, [normal] BOOM! [nothing happens; Bender starts to laugh] Woah! [he explodes]
In the Gravity Falls: Mabel gives one to Waddles in the "Abaconings" segment of "Little Gift Shop of Horrors".
In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Scythe For Sale", Billy unknowingly sold Grim's Scythe to Irwin as it was with his dad golf clubs. After awhile, Irwin realized that he had Grim's Scythe as he decided to get Mandy to like him by mind controlling her with it. However, Grim was able to reach out to Mandy as she heard his voice and briefly broke free from Irwin's control. Although, Irwin zapped Mandy again but it would't last long as Billy and Grim got the Scythe away from him, which reverted everything to normal and Mandy was set free.
In "Dibship Rising", when Zim puts the Dibship under mind control and orders it to do away with Dib, Dib tries to persuade the ship otherwise by reminding it that it and himself are essentially the same person.
Jade tries doing this to her dog, Scruffy, after if has been possessed by the mask of an evil Oni warrior, to the point of tears. It doesn't work, but Jackie and her team of animals (who were given powers by the defeated dragon demon Shendu's talismans) and a stuffed animal (also given life by the talismans) save her before Scruffy kills her.
Played straight when Jade's same age friend, Paco, puts on another Oni warrior mask so that he can be scary for Halloween. The mask's evil slowly takes over him until he was willing to beat up his own wrestling idol, El Toro. On the edge of defeat, El Toro convinces him to remove his mask after he removes his own (which he and Paco agreed he would never do out of pride) and brings him back to his senses enough to fight off the demon's influence (in a rather comical, Jim Carrey like fashion) and use Uncle's potion to remove it.
When Johnny Test is possessed by the Super Smarty Pants, the twins convince Dukey to try one of these in order to get to the one part of Johnny's brain that hasn't been controlled. Dukey gives a speech laden with Continuity Nods to achieve this.
This happened in the Kim Possible episode "Emotion Sickness", where Kim had an emotion-manipulating device on her neck stuck on uncontrollable rage. In the end, she finally caught up with Ron, and began to beat him up (with uncharacteristic slowness) while he tried to get through to her, without success — until Shego picked up the slack and put him in real danger.
In Mega Man, Roll tries a version of this when she is trying to get through to Mega Man, who is under the influence of Wily's mind-control chip. He doesn't really listens to her until Dr. Light interferes and interrupts Wily's control, allowing Roll's words to free him.
Subverted on My Life as a Teenage Robot when Jenny's absorbed into a giant Cluster-bot. Her prototype sisters attempts to call out to her fail, but her youngest sister, a robot baby, pukes oil on her (seriously) manages to wake her up.
In "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted", the boys are sent to a reform school after their shenanigans are revealed, ostensibly to instill discipline and a respect for authority, but in fact its true purpose is to systematically crush any creativity out of them. When Candace busts them out, she finds them reduced to Empty Shells. She's horrified, and pours her heart out to them in a desperate attempt to bring them back. It works, but then it turns out it was All Just a Dream, and then learn it was a Dream Within a Dream.
Carl does this in "Remains of the Platypus" to Perry who has become Doofenshmirtz' butler due to the effects of an -inator. He indirectly succeeds after accidentally spilling a drink on Perry which got him to read the message "I Fight Evil" that he wrote for himself beforehand.
In "Phineas and Ferb Interrupted", the boys haven't been turned evil, but instead have been zapped with a rogue shot from the Dull-and-Boring-Inator. When an inventive solution is needed to save Candace's life, Isabella, Buford and Baljeet rally them back into themselves by urging them to get creative.
And in the episode "Bullseye", Lawrence accidentally gets zapped by the Ultimate-Evil-inator and wins the L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N Pageant of Evil. It only takes one look at the boys (who crashed into the arena in a carefully planned move by Perry) to snap him out of it.
Subverted in The Powerpuff Girls. Professor Utonium's latest invention, a pet named Beebo, goes on a destructive eating rampage throughout Townsville, even going as far as to eat both Blossom and Buttercup. He chases Bubbles around a bit until she's cornered in an alley, at which point she says "No, Beebo! No! I love you!" and stares at him with her giant glassy Powerpuff eyes. Beebo pauses, then smiles at her — then eats her anyway.
Also subverted when Him mind controls everyone in Townsville and makes them attack the Powerpuff Girls. When the girls cannot talk the townspeople out of Him's mind control they beat them up.
Samurai Jack Episode "C"; Aku discovers that Ashi is his biological daughter, and begins manipulating her into fighting Jack. Jack desperately pleads with Ashi to fight back and reject Aku, but no matter how hard she tries Ashi cannot break free before Aku fully corrupts her into a female clone of himself. However, in the following episode, once Jack declares his love for Ashi, she finally regains control of herself.
When Marge ends up in a roid rage, Homer talks her down in this manner. But not before she cripples all of Moe's regulars. And Disco Stu.
In the episode "Dog of Death", Burns takes in a runaway Santa's Little Helper and, through A Clockwork Orange-type conditioning, transforms him into a vicious attack dog. When Bart comes by looking for Santa's Little Helper, Burns releases the hounds on him. Bart recognizes his dog but not vice versa until, on the verge of being attacked, Bart calls out "I love you, boy!" This triggers in the dog a series of flashbacks to him having fun with Bart, and he reverts back to his old affectionate self.
Most of those memories are of Bart secretly feeding Santa's Little Helper.
Parodied in the Sonic Boom episode "Buster": Sticks tries to convince Buster (who is now a giant robot) to stop hurting her friends by asking him to remember all the good times they had, followed by a series of flashbacks featuring the two. Sticks then says in deadpan:
Sticks: Yeah, I don't remember any of that either."
Subverted in The Spectacular Spider-Man. The son of Dr. Connors aka The Lizard tries to get through to his rampaging mutated father. There's a flicker of recognition and hesitation in Lizard's eyes, and then it tries to bite the kid's head off.
In "Sins of the Fathers, Part XI: Carnage", Eddie Brock's psychiatrist and love interest Dr. Ashley Kafka tells him to fight the symbiote's influence which is pushing him to violence.
The series finale has an example, although Spidey really had to work for it. It involves Spider-Carnage, an insane alternate-dimension version of himself, and a not-dead Uncle Ben from another alternate universe getting through to him. Even then, it was only enough for him to break free for a moment and kill himself before he could relapse.
Star Wars: Clone Wars: In season 3, Anakin tries this against a group of Nelvaan warriors who have been brainwashed by the Techno Union. It doesn't work, and when he has to take another approach destroying the mechanism that's controlling them his cybernetic hand is destroyed, and the pain again causes him to give in to rage, channeling the Dark Side to savagely kill the villains. (But he did rescue the Nelvaans.)
In "Brain Invaders", Barriss Offee is taken over by a parasitic brain worm. When her friend Ahsoka Tano tries this trope on her, it has zero effect. In the end, she has to rely on science and lightsabers, followed up by some snuggly cuddling. She does manage to get through to her for a brief moment towards the end, however, with Barriss begging Ahsoka to kill her, which of course, Ahsoka refuses to do.
Later in Season 3, Ahsoka gets kidnapped and brainwashed by the Son, the embodiment of The Dark Side of the Force, and made fight against Anakin. During their duel, Anakin repeatedly tried to talk sense into her, but to no avail. She got better eventually thanks to the combined efforts of Anakin and the Daughter, the embodiment of the Light Side.
Steven Universe: Deconstructed in "Change Your Mind". White Diamond is so convinced that Steven is just an amnesiac deluded Pink Diamond that she's willing to rip his Gem out to prove it. Steven's Gem half quickly proves her and everybody who ever thought the same wrong.
White Diamond: All I want is for you to be yourself. And if you can't do that, then I'll do it for you!
Jinmay does the same for Chiro after he's turned into a Wraith later in the series.
In the final episode, after Sprx is turned evil by the Fire of Hate, Nova refuses to give up on him and tries to reason with him even while he's electrocuting her. She finally reaches him by confessing her love for him.
Most of Rapunzel's interactions with Cassandra In Season 3 have her trying to convince her to give up her evil ways, though it only really evolves into a fight in episodes 12 and 17. Summed up best by Rapunzel's description of her in the Evolving Opening:
In "I Monster" Leo pull this this strategy on a mind-controlled (by Rat-King) Splinter.
Several times in "Clash Of The Mutanimals" Shredder kidnaps the Mighty Mutanimals to test his mind control formula.
Splinter try this with her daughter Karai when she get mind-controlled.
In "The Outlaw Armaggon" April has to resort to her psychic abilities to bring Fugitoid back when he's being controlled.
The Teen Titans episode "The Beast Within" puts a twist on it. Cyborg tries to reason with Beast Boy before he and Robin resort to fighting him, but as it turns out, the one he's trying to reason with is actually Adonis, who has been transformed into a similar monster. (Beast Boy, for the most part, was actually still able to discern his allies from his enemies, despite falling into bestial rage due to the change.)
Comically subverted in Tiny Toon Adventures, where Babs tries to convince a mind-controlled chimera-ish monster, who's obeyed into lowering her and her friends into a vat of goop that will mutate them into a monster like him, into remembering the good times together, which prompts a look of anger as she had spent the entire episode beating him up despite his Anguished Declarations of Love. It's finally played straight when she admits that she loves him and releases him from his mind-control.
In "The Ultimate Doom: Brainwash", Sparkplug fell victim to the Decpeticons hypno chip and unknowingly sabotage the Autobots, after they rescue him. Although, Sparkplug regain his senses when he heard Spike calling out to him and even tried to fight the hypno chip but fell victim to it completely. However, Sparkplug fought back again when he heard Spike reminding him that the Autobots were his friends but was only for a few seconds before being place under the Decpeticons control again. However, in two episodes later, Sparkplug was finally free from the Decpeticons control when Wheeljack uses one of his inventions on him.
In "Autobot Spike", Spike went through a struggle for control of a robot body, after having his mind transfer into it when he got gravely injury from a battle with the Decpeticions, as his mind was unstable. Because of this, Spike ran away from the Arc, but Bumblebee left soon after as he not only want to help his best friend but also knew that he was in there somewhere. After finding Spike, Bumblebee was almost successful in getting through to him, but failed due to his messed up mind. Although, Bumblebee tried again with Optimus's help when the Decepticons took advantage of Spikes messed up mind. However, Spike was brought to back to his senses when he nearly killed Sparkplug and turned on the Decepticons.
In "Attack of the Autobots", Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots, minus Bumblebee and Jazz, were turn from good to evil when Megatron slip a personality destabilizer in their recharging chambers. Hearing that Optimus and two of his fellow Autobots were attacking a military base, Bumblebee went there in hopes of getting through to them and had Spike accompany him. After arriving at the base, Bumblebee tried a couple attempts of getting through to Optimus Prime but failed. However, after Sparkplug created a new invention to return the Autobots to normal and had only one left, Bumblebee took the device and made one final attempt to reach out to Optimus Prime by encouraging him to fight it off, which worked as he heard his voice and put the last of the device on him.
In the Transformers Animated: Prowl jacks himself into Omega Supreme when Megatron takes control of his body, while Ratchet gives him the trope's talk from the outside. It works and Prowl helps Omega throw off Megatron's control... only for Starscream to take over instead.Oops.
In the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "The Sinister Six" Peter tries this on the Lizard. It actually works and the Lizard reverts back to Connors. Unfortunately Doc Ock steps in to turn him into the Lizard again, and it doesn't work a second time. This trope appears again in "The Man-Wolf" with...well, the Man-Wolf. It happens twice in the episode.
Averted in The Venture Bros. "The Incredible Mr. Brisby". A group called the Orange County Liberation Front try to overthrow obvious Walt Disney parody, Roy Brisby and his empire using Bizzy Bee beanies taken from Brisby's laboratories intended for mind control and using them on the Venture brothers, Hank and Dean, as test subjects. As the battle erupts between the soldiers and the bee-suit workers, the hypnotized boys prepare to attack Brock. Instead of appealing to them, Brock threatens them: "You don't want to shoot me, boys. You know me. You know what I'll do to you if you do." It works, as the boys' mind control is momentarily overridden by pure terror, long enough for Brock to lightly bash their heads together and remove the caps.
Winx Club has one of those as the end of Season 2. With Bloom turned into a Dark Magical Girl by the Big Bad, after her friends attempt to fight her yet cannot (half because it's their friend after all, half because Evil Bloom is VERY powerful), and after Riven almost gets killed to shield an injured Musa, it's up to Prince Sky to try talking Bloom out of it. It takes a while, but it finally works. It's also a mild subversion since this time the heroine is the one brainwashed and saved by her love interest.
Subverted when Jean and Wanda try to snap Professor Xavier and Magneto respectively out of Apocalypse's mind control. Only defeating Apocalypse can free them.
Played straight twice before, by Kitty Pryde (against a Brainwashed and Crazy Wolverine) and Evan Daniels (towards a possessed Storm.)
And toyed with in regards to a Jean who experiences a serious Power Incontinence. While Scott does try to talk her down, what truly works is to have Rogue touch Jean, copy her powers, and contain her psychically.
Also played straight and subverted with Rogue. When all the personalities and powers she's absorbed start forcing their way to the surface, she's talked down at least twice. Each time, however, the one doing the talking makes some sort of slip that triggers one personality or another, causing her to go wild again. It takes Professor X's Psychic Powers and a pep talk from Wolverine to straighten her out completely.